Syngenta Corn Class Action Update: June 23, 2017.
After roughly half a day of deliberation, a Kansas jury found Syngenta negligent and awarded $217,700,000 in compensatory damages to more than 7,000 Kansas corn producer plaintiffs. This trial was the first of eight certified state class action lawsuits involving nationwide claims by corn growers’ and farmers that Switzerland-based Syngenta’s actions with its genetically modified strains of corn less to the loss of an important market for U.S. corn – China. The other certified state class action lawsuits involve Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio, and South Dakota corn producers. Further, additional state class action lawsuits in this matter are awaiting certification.
The case against Syngenta began after corn growers’ alleged they suffered significant economic damages when Syngenta sold two genetically modified strains of corn seed to American farmers prior to receiving Chinese approval. A major importer of American corn, China began refusing all shipments of U.S. corn after a genetic trait found in the modified strains of corn was detected in shipments from the United States. With the loss of the Chinese market, the corn growers’ alleged that the price of corn decreased, costing economic harm.
Syngenta Corn Class Action Update: July 19, 2017.
Chris Ellis and Shane Mendenhall recently traveled to Kansas City, Kansas, to watch the first jury trial against Syngenta over its decision to introduce MIR 162 into the U.S. corn market before China approved it for imports. This trial involves four Kansas farmers representing roughly 7,300 farmers from that state. As the first trial, it is important because it will provide guidance for how this extremely complex case could be resolved.
At the beginning of the litigation against Syngenta, Chris Ellis was appointed to serve on the liaison counsel of the class action case. After watching the trial unfold, he provided a summary of the proceedings to Stu Ellis (no relation as far as they have been able to determine) of the Decatur Herald & Review. Mr. Ellis recently published an article concerning the proceedings, which discusses both the current trial on behalf of Kansas farmers and the upcoming trial on behalf of Illinois farmers: Stu Ellis: Farmers verses Syngenta.
BRE Law and Chris are extremely proud to protect the interests of local farmers. If you are a corn producer, farmer, or have a general interest in learning more about the class action lawsuit, please visit the Class Action website.
Published July 5, 2017